Customer Reviews4.1 / 5.0250 ReviewsDurability4.0 / 5Reliability4.2 / 5Performance4.1 / 5Ease Of Use4.2 / 5Value4.0 / 5Would You Recommend?Yes (67)No (17)Durability5 / 5Reliability5 / 5Performance5 / 5Ease Of Use5 / 5Value5 / 5Would You Recommend?YesThis radio seems like a very capable airplane guy radio.I bought this radio because I need sound clips for an aviation school I’m making to get money to buy a house. So far I have captured an awos report with it. Perhaps later I will use it to capture some tower traffic to use as embellishments? The sky’’s the limit!I like it. It’s a good radio.November 10, 2019Purchased
3 weeks agoDurability5 / 5Reliability5 / 5Performance5 / 5Ease Of Use5 / 5Value5 / 5Would You Recommend?YesGood investmentI did not try all of the SP-400 features. However, it looks a good investment so far.October 11, 2019Purchased
1 month agoDurability5 / 5Reliability5 / 5Performance5 / 5Ease Of Use5 / 5Value5 / 5Would You Recommend?YesOctober 3, 2019Purchased
1 year agoDurability1 / 5Reliability1 / 5Performance3 / 5Ease Of Use3 / 5Value1 / 5Would You Recommend?NoAA Battery Packs Fail and Not Under WarrantyThe radio works okay, if the battery pack hasn't failed, but they like to fail and are considered an "accessory" not covered under warranty, despite that it's part of the purchased unit.
Acceptable range for listening, but if you're going to use it as a backup in the cockpit, get an external antenna hookup to your main comm's antenna.September 22, 2019Durability5 / 5Reliability4 / 5Performance4 / 5Ease Of Use4 / 5Value4 / 5Would You Recommend?YesPretty good radio but can be static at times even when at the airport.
But other than that it’s great!September 11, 2019Purchased
2 months agoDurability4 / 5Reliability5 / 5Performance5 / 5Ease Of Use1 / 5Value1 / 5Would You Recommend?YesI have had 3 of these great little radiosI have own a JD-200, SP-200, and now the SP-400. The latest radio has a great display that is much easier to read than the others. The buttons are easy to push while wearing military aviator style gloves. I use the radio has the primary radio in my aerobatic biplane. It is connected to an external VHF antenna, noise canceling intercom, push to talk button and directly to the aircraft's avionics bus. Its transmit and receive functions perform flawlessly as did those of the other Sporty's radios. The side-tone on the SP-400 has too much gain and lacks adjustment to turn it down like some of the competition radios. Frankly, I'd rather see the return of the detachable battery box like on the 200 series radios. The backup nav functions on this and the other radios were NEVER used by me and I find them a waste of utility, cost, and design. I would rather see a more robust case, side-tone adjustment, and detachable battery pack the substantially reduces the size of the unit. Other than that, I am very pleased with this unit. I tried to replace my SP-200 with a competitor's radio, but the proprietary headset and push to talk adapter would not function at all (and this is a known problem that they fail to correct). Despite the characteristics of the SP-400 that I take issue with, I ordered the SP-400 and it worked, out of the box, just plug and play. OBTW - My 17 year old JD-200 still works as good as new.September 6, 2019Purchased
2 months agoDurability2 / 5Reliability3 / 5Performance3 / 5Ease Of Use1 / 5Value1 / 5Would You Recommend?NoNot a great value compared to alternativesI bought this radio + Yaesu 750L (Nav/Com/GPS). By the time I was done paying for shipping from Sporty's + paying for the things that are included with the Yaesu (belt clip, headset adapter, cigarette), the Sporty's was $50 more expensive with less features. Not a good value in my opinion.August 27, 2019Durability3 / 5Reliability3 / 5Performance3 / 5Ease Of Use2 / 5Value2 / 5Would You Recommend?NoNeeds redesignIt’s OK. The ease of use only applies to entering COM frequencies. For everything else you need the manual. It has a decent LCD display so why they can’t use soft keys in the modern style instead of weird key sequences is beyond me.
The only available rechargeable battery is NIMH. Seriously?
The thing needs to be redesigned to modern standards.July 29, 2019Purchased
4 months agoDurability2 / 5Reliability5 / 5Performance4 / 5Ease Of Use5 / 5Value3 / 5Would You Recommend?YesEasy to use. Great when it works but not very durableI have had the SP-300 and now the SP-400 series and while the SP-400 is better, I have had issues with the SP-400. The battery pack wouldn't stay connected to the radio due to a broken latch and the battery life isn't great.
The radio works well, when it works.July 6, 2019Durability5 / 5Reliability5 / 5Performance5 / 5Ease Of Use5 / 5Value5 / 5Would You Recommend?YesGreat equipmentUsed a Sporty’s SP-300 for over 20 yrs and needed repair only once! Wonderful service! Very happy w my 400 and feel certain it will be as fine as my 300.June 23, 2019Purchased
5 months ago
- Question and Answer
Browse 45 questions Browse 45 questions and 75 answerscan it be hooked up to the airplanes antenna?BEST ANSWER: Yes, as long as the antenna lead has a female BNC type fitting, or a suitable adapter. I made a lead with BNC connectors at both ends and a suction cup mount that allows me to remotely mount the Rubber Duccky type antenna that comes with the unit just under the top of my canopy. This improved performance without adding any exterior drag.Is the 5 year warranty transferable? SP-400BEST ANSWER: My Aeronca Chief has no radio or electrical system. Can this handheld be connected to a Sigtronics 2 place portable intercom? If so, what connector is required from the handheld to the intercom? Do you have them in stock as well as Sigtronics intercom extension cables to other side of cockpit so wiring can be semi permanently installed behind panel.Is there a way to make it transmit on 8.33 spacing, even if at a cost to modify? That is what questions about using in Europe etc mean. Europe and the UK are changing to 8.33 spacing and this radio will soon have no use there unless it can be adapted to transmit on 8.33. Thanks ps Very annoying for us, but we have no choice.BEST ANSWER: Unfortunately the FCC (the US government organization that regulates radios) does not allow us to make this radio transmit on 8.33 Khz - only 25 Khz. We will consider making a special model only for Europe.Does a new certified remote pilot need a license to use the SP-400 handheld transceiver? Beginning last Monday, some remote pilots would appreciate the use of a transceiver for the same short correct comms with ATC when inside or under controlled airspace just to advise ATC of their ID and location before and after takeoff, which is required in the authorization (usually) given days before. The alternative is to use the mobile phone, but that adds to the tower workload. This is being discussed in formums now.BEST ANSWER: Per current FCC rules, an FAA-licensed airplane automatically receives a radiotelephone station license, and a licensed pilot receives a radiotelephone operator's license to operate the radios in the plane. Neither a UAS (as the station) nor a remote pilot (as the operator) would appear to benefit from these dispensations. If you Google "airplane radio license" you'll find this info at the FCC website.8.33 compatible ?BEST ANSWER: I bought this radio since it says "8,33 MHz spacing" in the features in the Operator's Manual. In Sweden we now have 8,33 MHz spacing since Jan 1, 2018. I was flying this weekend to an airport with an 8,33 frequency and was convinced I had a radio (SP400) that would cope with that. It did not.
There is NOTHING in the Operator's Manual about "receive only" on 8,33 frequencies or in the specifications on the website as far as I can see.Can you hook up a handheld mic/speaker to the sp400?BEST ANSWER: Although I don't have that setup, I would think if your plugs and jacks are standard that it would probably work. I purchased the adapters from Sporty's which plug into the SP400 and then allow you to plug in your headset. You now transmit using the PTT button on the SP400 and headset mic. The side tone generated allows you to hear your transmissions. Received communications are through the headset of course.The printed catalog lists a '6-pin LEMO adapter.' Would I need to buy a LEMO adapter IN ADDITION to the regular 'radio-to-headset adapter', or can I substitute one for the other? IOW, can the LEMO adapter plug directly into the SP-400?Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation RadioBEST ANSWER: The LEMO adapter will not plug directly into the SP-400. You would need to go from the LEMO to GA adapter then the GA to SP-400 adapter.How far is the range on this unit...Please?!BEST ANSWER: According to the product manual, the transmit power is 5 watts at 85% modulation. For comparison, the transmit power of the common Bendix-King KX125 panel nav-com is 5 watts minimum, 7 watts nominal. Thus, range is potentially similar to that of a panel nav-com. The limiting factor is primarily the antenna and the shielding of the airframe, and the latter is specific to your airplane -- my results don't count.Some of the comments indicate that the 400 eats a lot of batteries. Two points: Can it be plugged in a lighter plug to operate it and/or to recharge rechargables AA's or the Ni-Mah battery pack while in use? ThanksBEST ANSWER: I leave my battery pack empty and have wired my power adapter directly to the avionics bus of my airplane. It has worked this way with all Sporty's radios, i.e., JD-200, SP-200, SP-400. It is one of the advantages of a 12 volt power supply. This may not be an advertised feature and the producer may frown on hardwiring the adapter cord into the avionic bus, but for the 13 years I have done it this way and the Sporty's radios have worked great.Is it ok to use longer life lithium AA batteries instead of alkaline batteries in this radio?BEST ANSWER: I use lithium batteries regularly with this radio and any equipment that uses AA batteries and have never had an issue.I just tuned it to Cincinnati Approach from home, but can't hear anything; is this normal?BEST ANSWER: Yes this is normal most of the time unless you are at or very close to the airport. My SP 400 is the same and only picks up traffic close to me, but picks up fine and works quite well once airborne. If you get the SP400 in the air and see no change you should call sportys for an exchange.Controllers including Clearance, Ground and Tower all say same thing, transmission is scratchy but understandable. Did I just get a bad radio as others have said they did? Or is there an adjustment to clean it up and make it useful?BEST ANSWER: depending on the A/C (fabric or metal) , an outside antenna may do wonders. If you have another radio in yr A/C, then use a splitter in the antenna to feed your SP-400. I'm very happy with mine, EXCEPT that it draws current even switched off; so after a few weeks you will have dead batteries even if you did not use yr SP400.What does it come with?BEST ANSWER: It comes with transceiver unit, strap, and antenna. There is separate order if you like all connectors or rechargeable Li ion battery pack.my son is a pilot wants two way hand held radio in case his radio in airplane fails. is this what he needs?BEST ANSWER: Yes, this is a good choice. With the Sporty's Headset adapter (P/N 8635A - $26) he can plug directly into his headsetI'm considering this SP-400 and find the battery comments discouraging. Could it be the peak current drain during transmitting damaging the fragile Alkaline battery chemistry? Has anyone used Lithium primary (non-rechargeable) cells in this radio? If it kills batteries while NOT in-use, it would be a worthless device.BEST ANSWER: I bought this handheld and put in high dollar camera batteries ( I never trust rechargeables) I pull it out and listen to the atis every prior to every flight and now and then give it a transmit radio check with ground cont.
Works like it should... I read folks whining that they left it fallow for a long time and it was dead when they needed it.... If you are relying on a piece of hardware (that runs on batteries) best to check it....
"dig you well before your thirsty"Is this dual band, meaning can it do Nav & Com at the same time? If not how easy is it to switch back and forth between the two?BEST ANSWER: Switching between the frequencies is quite easy, however. Simply tune the first frequency (i.e. COM) and then tune in the second (NAV in your case). Now you just use the Last Frequency button on the side to toggle between the two frequencies.Will this radio power a ANR headset like a Bose A20?BEST ANSWER: The Bose A20 get power for ANR from its own batteries, not from the radio, so there would be no issue. You will however need an adapter to go from the ports on the radio to a standard aviation headset. Sporty's carries that part as well.May I use the sp400 in Europe/ Netherlands/Germany?BEST ANSWER: Why not? Whats matter , is that ' if you have a rádio qualification for air-air or air-atc' transmitions!Does this radio have 2 place intercom in it? And will it accomdate 2 hwad sets and external antanae?BEST ANSWER: It does not have an intercom. It can use an external antenna. Not sure what you mean by 2 HWAD?What is the range on this handheld?BEST ANSWER: The range is between 10- 20 miles at 5000 ft.I’ve ordered the radio, weeks ago. When will it ship?BEST ANSWER: The PJ2 that was ordered is expected to ship by the end of October.Does the antenna fit in the antenna pocket inside the Sporty’s handheld radio gear mod?BEST ANSWER: Yes, it will.if I were to purchase a SP400, the 8635A headset adapter, would this combo work with an external PTT such as the 7404A, or would I still have to push the PTT on the SP400?Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation RadioBEST ANSWER: Yes, it would work with the PTT.can i purchase just the cigarette lighter adapter and how much is it?BEST ANSWER: Yes, the adapter is item 7343 and the cost is $39.95.How far from the airport can it be used. What is the range that you can use it in flight?BEST ANSWER: We test the radios at 5000 ft and are able to transmit and receive between 8-12 nm. The radios are a line of sight so on the ground depends on what may be in the way. Typically 1-1.5 miles.What's covered under the 5 year warranty?BEST ANSWER: Defects in workmanship.What accessories does it come with?BEST ANSWER: Just the Radio, There is an accessory kit.What is included with the SP-400?BEST ANSWER: Just the radio.If I buy the SP-400 and the recommended $99 accessory kit, will I need anything else?BEST ANSWER: No, there would be nothing to buy unless you wanted a Rechargeable Battery.
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